Everyone wants a beautifully landscaped yard, but not everyone is happy with the toll a lush, green yard can have on the environment. Some residential sprinkler heads can use up to 30 gallons of water per minute, making them a less-than-ideal option for times of drought or for anyone who wants to be environmentally conscious. And that’s just one example of how residential yards can wreak havoc on our ecosystem.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your landscape design more eco-friendly. Here are a few of our best tips.
Install artificial grass.
While some argue that artificial grass can still have a negative impact on the environment (mainly because of manufacturing and shipping), no one can deny that when it comes to water conservation, this option reigns supreme. A green lawn is by far the worst offender for water usage, so if you are hoping to cut back on that for any reason, consider going the artificial route. Make sure you check with your neighborhood regulations before shopping, as some communities have very specific guidelines about the types of product you can use.
Skip the lawn.
If you’re willing to give up on green grass altogether, there are plenty of ways to get creative with other types of landscaping. Especially here in the Phoenix area, rocky, desert landscaping is a very popular option. Add greenery with cactus and other low-maintenance bushes and you’ll have an eco-friendly landscape that is extremely easy to keep up with.
Not ready to ditch the lawn entirely? Add a hardscape area to your yard. This will cut back on the grass (and the watering and maintenance) while adding functionality and livability to your outdoor space. You could do this with an outdoor kitchen, dining area, firepit, or seating area.
Choose native plants.
Similarly, choosing plants native to your area will give them the best chance of surviving and thriving in your yard with little effort on your part. Since these plants are already acclimated to your climate, you won’t have to worry about building shade structures or setting up complicated watering systems to order to help them grow well.
Make your yard smart.
Adding timed sprinkler systems or automatic drip systems can make a huge difference in keeping your yard eco-friendly. These systems help avoid overwatering, which not only saves water, but keeps your plants the healthiest. It’s also a big convenience for you, since all you have to do is set it and forget it! Make sure to adjust your timers and watering amounts to account for seasons and plant types.
Incorporate terraces into sloped yards.
If your yard is sloped, it can lead to erosion, which can cause major problems for trees and houses. Terraces (flat areas that are built into slopes) can collect rainwater and help solve this problem, while also giving your yard an upscale and elegant aesthetic.
Pollinating insects, such as bees and butterflies, are necessary for the environment. Using plants that attract these insects will benefit your garden and help these species thrive. Of course, if you’d rather avoid insects, or if you have allergies to worry about, you can still benefit wildlife by using plants or features that attract birds.
You can have the landscaping you’ve always dreamed of while still being environmentally conscious. Start with these tips and you’ll enjoy a beautiful, more eco-friendly yard.